New Governments of Eastern Europe

New Governments of Eastern Europe

New Governments of Eastern Europe

New Governments of Eastern Europe

Excerpt

This volume, like its predecessor, New Governments of Central Europe, is a product of necessity. Despite the lapse of seven lean years of peace, the circumstances which led to the writing of the earlier work impelled to the quest of materials relating to Russia and its succession states in the hope of being able to analyze the processes of imperial dissolution and national renascence which took place there on an even more dramatic and catastrophic scale than in the domains of the Hohenzollerns and Hapsburgs. The quest has led through diversified and scattered materials; into complex and ramified situations. The product is the present volume, which simply endeavors to portray concretely, scientifically, and entirely dispassionately the breakdown of the Romanov empire and the way in which its transformation into the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics and the Baltic states has been effected. The study is designed to do as regards Eastern Europe what its forerunner attempted in relation to the Central European region.

Certain phases of the development of the study may require a brief comment. It was essential that the breakdown of the Russian Empire be treated before undertaking a study of the evolution of the succession states formed from it. For that reason it proved necessary to carry the life of the empire in the ensemble to the point where each country turned to its own course of independence. The points of severance of contact are thus specifically noted in the chapter on the March revolution and the topics are then dropped until resumed in the course of the narrative on the specific countries. Thereafter the social and political evolution of Russia is traced uninterruptedly save that the treatment of constitutional developments since the November revolution is reserved to a special chapter in view of the peculiarly distinctive character of the soviet system. In treating the new states individually the requisite social and constitu-

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